Posted by: Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes | August 10, 2009

10 Big Nutrition Mistakes #7: Thinking That Exercise Allows You to Eat Whatever You Want

One of the things I often hear from people who have started an exercise program is “now I get to eat whatever I want”.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  The simple truth is that very few of us can exercise long enough and frequently enough to burn the kind of calories that might allow us to get away with gluttony (cyclists at the Tour de France burn 5,000 to 10,000 calories/day, so does Michael Phelps, they can eat a lot more than we do).  For example, say you are a runner that logs an average of five miles a day, six days a week.  That means you burn off about 3,000 calories a week, and 156,000 a year.  On average, you are burning off an extra 427 calories a day compared to someone who gets no exercise.  This is a monumental accomplishment and can help keep you in excellent physical condition.  However, let’s assume you want to reward this hard work with an extra treat every day.  You love ice cream so you treat yourself to a medium chocolate shake from Dairy Queen.  The problem is that this shake comes in at nearly 800 calories.  Want to go with the small? That’s 570 calories.  A little better, but still far in excess of the calories you burn from running 5 miles.  Want to try something different, how about a Dunkin Donut?  My personal favorite, Vanilla Crème is 320 calories/doughnut.  A jelly doughnut is 260 calories. Want something a little more “healthy”, how about a multigrain bagel?  That comes in at 500 calories!  My point is simply that it does not take very much to quickly eclipse the caloric burn of the typical exercise regimen.  In no way am I suggesting you can never treat yourself.  Indeed, enjoy that milk shake or doughnut on occasion.  But never think you can outrun consistently poor diet choices.  Those poor choices will catch up with you every time!

NEXT POST – August 24, 2009

10 Big Nutrition Mistakes #8: Not Periodizing Your Eating Habits



  1. A great place to see how much food exercises are equivalent to is:

    Just click on the type of exercise and it tells you how many (or much more likely few) Big Macs you could eat for that amount of exercise. It really is eye opening how small those numbers are if you treat yourself every day!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: